Sale Sharks 21 Exeter Chiefs 16

First published in Trafford Sport

SHARKS put in a massive second half performance and finally beat Exeter Chiefs after six attempts.

In winning the game Mark Cueto finally broke Steve Hanley's Premiership try scoring record.

Exeter kicked off towards the South Stand but Sharks were soon making metres, Cueto chipped ahead and the move was eventually cleared by Exeter.

Sale were dealt a blow early doors when Dan Braid picked up a hand injury and left the field with the Doctor to attend to the injury which was diagnosed as a broken finger and a bad cut to his hand. Richie Vernon, back from training with Scotland all week, came on as a temporary replacement.

The first points came on 13 minutes when Steenson slotted home a penalty from 22 metres.

With Braid back on the field a rolling maul was set up after a line out and Braid emerged with the ball in hand to claim the try. Cipriani's conversion was wide but Sharks were in front at 5-3.

The lead was short lived as Steenson slotted home his second penalty on 21 minutes. 5-6.

Exeter stepped up their game and were awarded a try after good approach play. The TMO judged that Fijian winger Votu had grounded the ball. Steenson converted and the Chiefs led 5-13.

Half Time Sale Sharks 5 Exeter Chiefs 13.

Exeter went further ahead four minutes after the restart with another Steenson penalty and the game looked to be moving away from Sharks 5-16.

On 54 minutes though the biggest cheer heard at the new stadium since Sharks' move was reserved for Mark Cueto who scored in the corner, and in doing so he finally broke the all time Premiership try scoring record held by his good friend Steve Hanley. Steve's record had stood since 2006. Rob Miller converted the try and the crowd of 8232 believed the great escape was on. 12-16.

Rob Miller kicked a penalty on 58 minutes and Sharks went back in to the lead for the first time since the 22ndminute with a Cipriani penalty that bounced off one of the uprights before the touch judges raised their flags.

Kia Horstmann was sin binned by referee Garner for persistent infringement at the breakdown and Sharks went looking for more points.

Three minutes from time Nick Macleod who had replaced Rob Miller at full back dropped a goal to send the home fans wild. Sharks then lost Kearnan Myall to the sin bin and Sharks had to play out time with 14 men.

The drama was far from over as Exeter had a try disallowed when Scaysbrook was adjudged to have knocked the ball forward as he palmed the ball to Nowell.

The final whistle blew when Danny Cipriani kicked the ball into Row Z of the main stand following a line out that Sharks had won.

Final Score Sale Sharks 21 Exeter Chiefs 16.

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